There are millions of resources on investing and saving on large purchases like shopping your mortgage rates, haggling at the car dealership, cutting off your cable bill, investing in real estate or stocks or art or local businesses … the possibility of all of these things are endless. Equally as important is to bring the focus into the detail sometimes of the less exciting areas, like the rates you pay for your accounts, reducing eating out by a few times a week and opting for healthier options made at home, and most importantly, what to do with the money you do manage to save in all of these areas, both big and small.
- What are your accounts costing you? If you’re paying for your checking and savings accounts, are you receiving benefits with them that are worth the fees being charged each month? Most likely, it’s worth your time to shop around for a new bank or credit union checking account, to ensure you are stable from the very foundation of where your money is most likely going into before filtering back out again. Taking an hour or two to shop around to get the best option for you, and switch over your money can save you hundreds or thousands in the long run, making the most of your current dollars. Other accounts have fees as well, and it’s always worth checking to see if there is a way to reduce these altogether, either by asking the current company you’re with, or by changing to another.
- Make snacks, coffee and meals at home instead of eating out, where possible. This may be an overplayed strategy, but it sure is effective. Eating out has it’s time and place, but it’s often not that much of a time saver, and is certainly not the picture of a healthy and balanced meal. Buying organic and high quality whole foods to prepare and have on hand at home for meals and snacks is not only less expensive in the short term, it’s also less expensive in the short term as the probability of getting food related diseases can be dramatically reduced by taking this route. What goes into our body is as important as taking proper care of our finances. Both are vital components to our longevity and happiness in life.
- Take action with the money you save. Saving money on one item isn’t really saving money if we just spend it on something else, is it? Taking saving to the next level and moving money saved into a savings or investment account makes the process a bit more complete and whole. Saving $6 a day on coffee only to spend more at lunch or dinner doesn’t get you any farther in your financial goals. But, saving $6 a day on coffee and putting that into savings is $180 a month, and $2160 a year. It may not be life changing after one year, but it can be amazingly life changing after a few years by following this method and strategy.
Taking small, regular and thoughtful actions in the life area of financial health can shed light on small leaks that can be repaired in your money flow, and those dollars, in many cases, are best used when redirected into savings and investments, or into paying off interest accruing debts, like auto loans and credit cards.